BURGETTSTOWN, Pa. -- Verizon Communications, the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is investing $345,000 to modernize the local telephone network in the Washington County community of Burgettstown.
The company has installed new fiber-optic cable and associated electronic equipment along Rte. 18 north of Burgettstown and in the Cherry Valley Rd. area. Construction began earlier this month and is scheduled for completion before the end of this year.
The new fiber-optic cable will allow Verizon to provide additional broadband capability to businesses and residential developments. This technology also provides additional reliability and survivability in the company's telecommunications network. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone service along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data transmission services.
"This project is the latest evidence that Verizon is meeting our commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules to provide rural and urban customers with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services."
Whelan said Verizon has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in the former Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania network:
- Investment in the network will be about $1 billion this year, bringing the total investment for 1998, 1999 and 2000 to nearly $3 billion.
- Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 92 percent from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 911,000 in 1999.
- Percentage of digital call-routing switches in the former Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania network will be 100 percent by the end of the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 98.5 percent in 1999.
- The company's Infospeedsm DSL service was launched in Pennsylvania in October 1998. Infospeed DSL is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds up to 100 times faster than today's fastest analog modems.
"Verizon is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania," Whelan said. "We are building and enhancing a public telecommunications network in Pennsylvania that is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the commonwealth's economic infrastructure."
In addition to deploying the latest technology, Verizon has spent tens of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.
"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said. "We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete here, but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so."
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.